ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires
A planned Turkish television show that will see a Muslim imam, a Christian priest, a Jewish rabbi and a Buddhist monk competing to turn 10 unbelievers into devotees of their faith has run into yet another obstacle.
Ali Bardakoğlu, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, known as the Diyanet, said that no Turkish imam would be made available to participate on the show.
The program, "Tövbekarlar Yarışıyor," which can be roughly translated as "Penitents Compete," is scheduled to appear on Kanal T starting in early September. The imam, priest, rabbi and monk will try to convert at least one person in every show.
Seyhan Soylu, a famous transsexual known as "Sisi," is the architect of the new, religion-themed program. She responded to Bardakoğlu’s statement by saying if he would not provide imams for the show, she would get them from Tunisia.
Soylu said more than 200 atheists have already applied to take part in the program and added that the international press is showing great interest in the show. She said she has already given interviews to many foreign-media outlets and does not understand the negative reactions coming from inside Turkey.
Additionally, Soylu said she would file a lawsuit against Bardakoğlu for claiming the show was making religions compete with each other, saying the show’s producers had no such intentions and were only doing a good thing. If Bardakoğlu does not provide the show with an imam, she added, then it is he who is committing a sin.